29th October 2014

Harter Fell and Hard Knott Pass


Walk Overview
Time 12:45 to 3pm
Duration 2 hr 15 min
Distance 4.4 mile
Ascent 1900 ft
Walking with On my own
Jubilee Bridge - Dodknott Gill - Harter Fell - Hardknott Pass Tarn - Hard Knott Pass - Jubilee Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, Jubilee Bridge, Hardknott Pass

Hardknott Pass has got to be one of the steepest and most difficult roads in the country. In fact, many people make the effort to drive all the way around to this part of the Lake District just to face the challenge. I should point out that this road can be extremely dangerous during the winter months and is best avoided altogether if the weather is at all frosty. I was caught out myself on one occasion when using the route as a shortcut over to Cockley Beck. Just above the steepest of the bends the road turned into an ice rink and I had no alternative than to reverse back down until I reached a convenient turning place; not an experience I'm keen to repeat.

The car park has room for about ten cars, but should you find it full, there is usually room a little further along the road into Eskdale.

Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


It seems a little odd that such a lovely day as this could magically slot itself in between day after day of wet and windy weather. But it did, and as it was far too nice to miss altogether, I thought a short walk over Harter Fell was called for after a morning at work.

The walk start by crossing Jubilee Bridge and heading onto the path that runs diagonally up the side of Harter Fell.


Looking much closer than they actually are, from here you can look up to Slight Side, Scafell, Scafell Pike and just visible is Ill Crag.

A little bit further along the path and I look back for a view of the higher fells around Upper Eskdale. In addition to the fells in the previous picture you can now see Esk Pike and Bow Fell.

A view down to and through Eskdale.

The route up Harter Fell gives a great view through to the entrance of Upper Eskdale. Here you see Brotherilkeld at the bottom of the picture and Bow Fell up on the skyline.

Looking weswards to the fells above Wasdale.

A close up of Illgill Head, Haycock, Yewbarrow and Red Pike.

Harter Fell summit

I've never seen this many people up here before. There were a few lone walkers, a couple of couples and four groups like the one you see here. And then there was me. I assumed people were taking advantage of the only decent day of the week.

Turning around I see Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag.

I leave Harter Fell (that's me in the bottom corner) and make my way down to Hard Knott Pass. I've been down here many times after heavy rain so I know what the place is like. Today, I got exactly what I thought I would and arrived at the road wet and muddy up to my knees.

As I gazed at the Coniston fells I wished I'd had more time to walk today. Not that there's 'owt rang wid' Harter Fell.

Here's a close up of the highest ground in England. Slight Side, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Broad Crag, Ill Crag and Great End.

Now for a closer close up of Scafell Pike, Broad Crag, Ill Crag and pointed bit just right of centre is Pen.

Scafell and Slight Side.

A close up of Wrynose Bottom / Cockley Beck.

Splash, splash, splashing my way down the fellside. I don't really want to stand still for too long in case I sink up to my knees in water.


I'm not far from the top of Hard Knott Pass now. Ahead of me is Hard Knott (the fell) and one of the two Hardknott Pass Tarns.

The top section of Hard Knott Pass.

Looking down Hard Knott Pass to Eskdale.

Four picture of the twisty bits.


And today's final picture is this one looking back up Hard Knott Pass.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks